Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Can dermatitis cause hair loss?"

ZocdocAnswersCan dermatitis cause hair loss?


Can dermatitis cause hair loss? I'm 31 and have been dealing with seborrheic dermatitis for at least twelve years, and it has often affected my scalp. Now my hairlines are receding and I wonder if it is due to the skin irritation. Can I stop the hair loss if I finally stop the dermatitis.


There are many different causes of hair loss which can require different forms of treatment. Physicians who are well qualified to discuss your hair loss with you include your primary care doctor and your dermatologist. The most common form of hair loss is "pattern baldness." This type of hair loss is genetically determined, not related to seborrheic dermatitis or other conditions, and typically begins with a receding hairline on both sides of the forehead. If, on the other hand, the hair loss you are experienced overlaps areas of seborrheic dermatitis, especially in a pattern different than the typical "pattern baldness" described above, they may be related. Severe and persistent seborrheic dermatitis can cause hair loss. Other causes of hair loss include other infections. Ringworm and other fungal infections can cause hair loss on the scalp. The pattern of hair loss seen with ringworm often involves an isolated, circular area of hair loss in the middle of the scalp. Other serious inflammatory conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, can also produce hairloss. Finally trauma, or excessive pulling, of hair, such as over-vigorous combing, can at times produce or accelerate hair loss. As always, diagnosis and treatment of your condition will require a physical examination by a personal physician. Arranging an appointment with your primary care physician or your dermatologist is recommended.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.